Not long ago, I mentioned in this space the way some people will go on vacation and, far from being grateful, spend the whole time complaining. I will excuse the numerous postcards which complain either a) that the vacation never seems long enough or b) that you need another vacation to recover from the effects of the first vacation. These are basic truths of life.
I’m thinking of the people who are able to get away on vacation and cannot seem to find anything nice to say. If it rains the whole two weeks, why, it’s true, as the feller at the hotel’s front desk notes, that the crops really needed it. And if you are snowed in at the ski lodge,. Well then, as the hotel desk clerk points out, you shouldn’t have tried to come skiing in the winter. They don’t have those problems in July.
In fact, the poor folks who run hotels get a lot of grief from the postcard manufacturers, who knew that people on their vacation love to pass along criticism of their accommodations. Nowadays, we do that sort of thing through the Interwebs, but once upon a time, you went to a rack in the hotel gift shop to buy a postcard explaining how rotten your hotel was.
And it’s not so much that a hotel is BAD, necessarily, as that your expectations are too high. Sometimes a hotel visitor can be completely unreasonable. Take the refined gent in the postcard at the top here. If that towel was clean enough for the last two dozen men who used it, why should HE complain? He expects too much.
Most hotels of the time were designed to provide the most up-to-date comforts of home to the guests. Here is a typical room with a lot of space, a simple and unaffected décor, and loads of amenities (the chamberpot is provided; he didn’t have to bring his own from home.)
If some people read the advertisement and choose to read “near the sea” instead of what’s actually written, does this give them a right to complain? I think not.
A bed for the night is a bed for the night, after all.
And if the local entertainers are too exciting for you to get much sleep, whose fault is that?
One of the most common complaints, especially at really popular places (and particularly true in the cities during World War II) was that the hotels were fully booked, and there wasn’t much space. Dozens of postcards complain about this, and yet the people shown could generally find a place, even if it was only semi-private sometimes.
Or possibly less private than that. This was a very common arrangement in hotels and inns in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, so travelers were being allowed to experience travel (and social networking) the way their grandparents did.
Every hotel has spaces which can be opened up to guests in times of real emergency.
Though, as postcard after postcard pointed out, even those spaces needed to be booked in advance, as they might sell out quickly.
As travel writers have pointed out, travel is meant to be an adventure, not just more of the same. If all you want is the comforts of home and a handy Burger King or Wendy’s, why, you can always stay home. (Postcards never say that, though. If all these people stayed at home, who’d buy the postcards?)